Attempt at making a miche-style loaf

Bushturkey's picture

I based my recipe on Jeffrey Hamelman's Miche Pointe-à-Callière from his book "Bread: A Baker's book of techniques and recipes" - Wiley publications 2004. Pointe-à-Callière is the place where Montreal was first settled.

I'll let you be the judge(s) about the success of this attempt! I live nowhere near Pointe-à-Callière, so I can't really call the bread by that name. Miche Source Alice (?Alice Springs  in French) perhaps.

1. I should've read the instructions!

I started by elaborating a starter. I used a 100% culture and 100% wholemeal (100% extraction - it's what I had at home). I ended up with 970g starter! Hamelman's recipe had the culture as 20%(D'oh!).

I didn't have enough wholemeal, so I used my remaining wholegrain spelt (again, 100% extraction). I made up the rest with whitebread flour (I ran out of spelt). The recipe called for 85-90% wholemeal (100% extraction) and the rest white bread flour. I ended up with 42.4% wholemeal wheat, 24.2% wholemeal spelt and 33.4% white bread flours. Hydration was 82% and I had a total of 6 Kg of elastic dough! It was beautiful to feel, but impossible to control. The recipe said that miche is a heavy loaf 2.25 Kg or 5 lb each, so I made 3 loaves.

My drama continued after shaping. I've invented the 13th and 14th steps to bread. The sticking to the couche and the scraping off the couche when it's time to bake. Very crucial steps!

The bread tastes good and the crumb is nice and the crust crispy and thin.

Miche dough rising Pizza-sized Miche Miche Alice Springs - Crumb

The CD in the second picture is of "Africa"- © Putumayo World Music 1999.

The loaves were bigger than what my oven could handle and I had to pick up the dough and push it back onto the tile.

The loaves just spread out on the couche. I'll get bannetons or baskets next time, I think!


TeckPoh's picture
TeckPoh 2008 April 13
 6kg??! I guess we won't be seeing your next bread too soon...

82% hydration? Hmm...I'm thinking you might as well forget about bannetons and form a ciabatta.

Your bread looks pretty decent....sure sounds good.
Jeremy's picture
Jeremy 2008 April 14
Looks good, I just made that last weekend, sifted 100% whole wheat and topped off with 10 percent white bread flour, came out ok, I will order the 80 % extraction the next time though, I used all my supply from Switzerland I got last year!

Bushturkey's picture
Bushturkey 2008 April 14
The (very wet) dough tended to expand on the couche.
I had three loaves next to each other, but could only bake one at a time at one hour intervals.
I covered the couche with a large cardboard box.
May be I didn't fold the dough enough times (I did two folds during the bulk fermentation). Is there a limit to the number of folds or can I keep going until the dough feels right?
Maybe I should've used a basket, like Jeremy.
I had way too much bread - more than I could eat. I cut a loaf, froze one and gave one away.

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